Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., the No. 1 U.S. maker of recreational vehicles, said it expects fiscal first-quarter earnings to decline on weakening demand for its manufactured housing. The Riverside-based company expects earnings for the quarter ending July 25 to fall 20% to 30% below year-earlier results. Fleetwood had net income of $30.2 million, or 86 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. The company is the latest maker of manufactured homes to blame an inventory glut for slowing sales. It and its competitors have been hurt as an increasing number of retailers have driven up inventories to historically high levels.
Fleetwood had been expected to earn 70 cents a share in the first quarter, the average estimate of four analysts polled by First Call Corp. It also reported that preliminary first-quarter sales increased 14%, to $955 million from $840.2 million, boosted by continuing strong sales in its recreational vehicle business. Fleetwood shares rose 50 cents to close at $22.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. The company expects to report earnings next month.